Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum says he is running for president in part because both House and Senate Republicans are failing to articulate what needs to be done to salvage the country from a fiscal sinkhole. Santorum also told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren that President Barack Obama hasn’t addressed the “gravity of the problem.”
Santorum was traveling through Iowa, where the August straw poll is traditionally the first test for a presidential hopeful, and said people are exceedingly worried about the nation’s financial quagmire.
“Everything I’m hearing is acrimony in Iowa over what is going on in Washington — people are not happy we don’t have leadership from the president, and the Republicans seem to be all over the map and not delivering a clear message to the American people,” he said. “We’ve had a president who hasn’t told the truth to the American people about the gravity of the problem — he’s been hiding the ball, not putting forward a plan. And it has put the Republicans in a difficult position — [House Speaker] John Boehner has a tough job.
“But I think both the House and Senate Republicans have done a poor job in articulating what we want to accomplish,” Santorum said. “We have to outline principles to the American public of what we’re for — we are for a balanced budget and limited government.”
Van Susteren asked Santorum whether if he was still in the Senate would he vote for the Boehner plan.
“I would not — I’ve said from the beginning what we need to do is be focused — we have to focus on what we want to accomplish,” he said. “The principles we want to accomplish is to balance the budget and limit the size and scale of government. There’s only one thing that does that . . . the American public supports a balanced budget amendment.
“We can say: ‘Mr. President, I’m happy to negotiate on cuts right now — I’m happy to do less cuts right now,” Santorum said. “But let’s agree to balance the budget . . . seven to eight years is what it would take [to go] into effect. That gives us a timeline to get there. It gives the market the certainty that the budget will be balanced, that we will get our fiscal house in order.”
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